|Min OS X: 10.2 CPU: G3 @ 400 MHz RAM: 128 MB Hard Disk: 500 MB Graphics: 1024x768|
|NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005|
November 7, 2005 | Joe Jackson
Just as Mac users make up a small portion of the world's computer users, in most parts of the world hockey occupies the margins of sport. So correspondingly, given how few sports games there are for the Macintosh platform, Mac hockey games are virtually non-existent. There was a version of Wayne Gretzky Hockey back in the Classic era, but otherwise the Mac-using hockey fan has been out of luck. Even Backyard Hockey was the first of the once cross-platform Backyard Sports games to go Windows only.
Well, thanks to Sega and Sports Interactive that most rare of beasts, the Mac-loving hockey fan, has something to cheer about besides the end of the NHL work stoppage: NHL Eastside Hockey Manager 2005 (NHL EHM 2005). Here you assume the role of General Manager for the team of your choice. While the title of the game suggests you would choose a National Hockey League team to manage, you are not confined to the NHL, North America, or even the English language. The world of international hockey is yours with NHL EHM 2005.
GameplayYou assume the role of General Manager, which in the National Hockey League is usually confined to the business end of running a team: signing players and coaches, making the large-scale personnel moves outside the day-to-day activities on the rink. But with NHL EHM 2005, you can be quite hands-on, and in many ways assume some coaching-level duties as well, such as setting the roster and choosing line combinations and defensive pairings as well as emphasizing what players need to work on during practice, such as conditioning, shooting, defensive skills, etc.
The amount of data is impressive. There are complete rosters not only for NHL teams, but also all leagues that could supply players to the NHL; this includes the affiliated minor leagues, the AHL and ECHL, most of the more important European leagues like Sweden, Finland, and Russia, and the major Junior leagues of Canada, the WHL, OHA, and QMJHL. All told, there are over 3000 teams accounted for, which gives you a staggering number of over 30,000 players from which to build your dream team.
To help you manage this immense amount of data, you have a daily News update, which keeps you informed of which players are being "shopped around," transactions that have occurred in your league, and other items of interest. You also have a scouting staff, which you can assign to various duties, such as gathering information on upcoming opponents, players, and even future draft eligible players. You can assign scouts to cover leagues, countries, or even entire regions, such as Scandinavia. There is also a Fast Find feature, which allows you to look up any player in the game database. Each player has a profile, which includes career stats, a brief bio, and in some cases even a scouting report, which combines to give you a good amount of information on even seemingly obscure players.